Carbon credit 20% profit boast from MH Carbon Limited that went up in smoke
T.D.writes: I invested in carbon credits that I bought from MH Carbon Limited, after the company told me that businesses buy these credits. Mine were supposed to be sold in October. • When October came I was told that while I stood to make a 20 per cent profit, if I waited until November this would rise to 25 per cent. It seemed sensible to wait, but then in November, MH Carbon told me no one was buying. • The company added that in April the Government would be introducing legislation that would force businesses to buy carbon credits or face heavy fines. I invested all my savings, so now I am extremely worried. • I have yet to see any ordinary investor make a penny from trading in carbon credits, and I am afraid you are not going to be the first – though I do have some good news for you. • MH Carbon, based in the City of London, is run by its sole director Jeffrey Razaq, so I asked him whether it was true you were first told your credits were showing a 20 per cent profit, with a promise of more to come, yet suddenly they could not be sold at all. • He told me he had bought the company on November 14 last year, and that the broker who dealt with you had already left by then. There was no record of what you had been told, he said.
Well, I asked, what about the idea that the Government was going to force companies to buy carbon credits from investors like you? Razaq came up with an announcement made last June, but he had the honesty to admit that all this does is make major companies report their greenhouse gas emissions. By no stretch of the imagination does it force them to buy credits. • Fair enough, but what about the claim on MH Carbon’s website that ‘the EU carbon price may triple by 2013’? Did it? And even if it did, there are two different types of credit – one traded by governments and international corporations, and ‘voluntary credits’ sold by firms such as MH Carbon to people like you – so which one saw the massive price rise? • Razaq conceded there was no threefold price rise. It was simply a prediction, and it certainly did not apply to your ‘voluntary credits’ anyway. He said: ‘As this figure has not been achieved, I have taken the decision to remove reference to it from the website.’ • I did wonder how much Razaq actually knows about carbon credit trading. Enquiries show he has previously worked as a director of companies authorised by the Financial Services Authority, and licensed by the Office of Fair Trading, but these were in unrelated fields. So, I asked him where he learnt about carbon credits. Nowhere, came the answer, with Razaq telling me he has not worked in the sector before. The good news – as you already know – is that after I contacted him Razaq rang you up and asked what you wanted.
Threats from First Utility after it makes a mess of simple bill • MrsP.A.P.writes: I have been trying for a year to resolve a problem with First Utility Energy. I was a customer for two years and had many problems with its accounts department. I was persuaded to remain for the second year only by the promise of a £100 loyalty bonus. When the time came, the bonus offered was £10 short. First Utility also owed me £5 in bank charges because of its errors, but when I deducted this from a bill, it caused untold grief. I switched supplier last year and since then I have been trying to get an accurate final statement. • First Utility’s systems do not seem able to cope with normal arithmetic. The company agreed that it owed you £5, but when you deducted this from a bill, its computer showed you were in arrears. • Then several weeks ago, First Utility said it had made a payment straight into your bank account, yet nothing arrived. • Finally, you received a demand for £84, with the threat of debt collectors and legal action if you failed to pay. There was no mention of the money First Utility owed you, and you were so worried by the threats that you paid up. A few weeks ago I contacted the company’s chief executive. Foolishly, First Utility emailed you immediately, saying it was reluctant to deal with me, even though you had asked it to do so. • You then received a cheque for £228. There was nothing to show how this was calculated, though it was described as a ‘dual-fuel discount’.